All my life, God was calling out to me. Yet for a long time, I would not listen. To tell you the truth, I didn’t want to hear from God. I was having too much fun. I thought I had it all—whatever all was.
So I left home as a young man, joined the navy, and left God behind. I didn’t know it then, but I was headed down a rough road of failure. It wasn’t long before my disobedience to God caught up with me, and I got in trouble with the law. When the dust settled, I was facing 25 years in prison.
At the same time, I became very ill. The doctor told me I was going into a diabetic coma. I was treated for this life-threatening condition and told that I’d need to take three shots of insulin, every day for the rest of my life. I was also told that if I didn’t lose weight, I would die.
How was I going to lose weight and maintain the needed shots in prison? My life without God was a real mess!
A friend of mind had been bugging me about going to church. Church was the last place I wanted to go. I had been sure I could figure out my situation all on my own. But with this new development—I couldn’t.
Thankfully, God hadn’t given up on me. I heard His voice calling out to me. He showed me how I’d been hiding from my friend and avoiding church. In fact, I’d hidden from him so long, he had stopped coming around. So I decided I’d go, even without my friend.
My only intention that day was to go to church. But God had other plans. While I was there, He got hold of my heart, and I gave my life to Him. It was the greatest day of my life!
Did I expect God to make everything better? If I did, I soon learned differently. As much as I might have liked Him to, He didn’t do away with my 25-year prison sentence. What He did instead was prepare me for the journey. Because of Him, I’ve made it through the good and the bad, the many ups and the downs of life. In fact, God gave me back my life.
Behind bars, God showed me how to regain my health. He gave me a plan to lose the weight I needed to lose and keep it off. I lost 150 pounds, and God healed me of diabetes. I haven’t had an insulin shot since 2001. I give thanks to God for saving my soul and my life.
I’ve been in prison for many years now, and I look forward to the day I will be released. In the meantime, however, I continue to give God thanks for what He has done in my life. I am alive, I am well, and I’m learning more about Him every day.
One thing I’ve learned is that I am not in prison because I was trafficking cocaine. I am in prison because I disobeyed God. If I had walked with Him and listened to His voice, I would never have gone down this path. Even so, God has been faithful to turn my mistakes into blessings.
Learn from my story. Don’t run from God. Stop. Listen. Obey. Whatever it is He’s telling you to do, do it. Then everything else in your life will line up just fine.